tv ABC World News Now ABC October 8, 2009 3:05am-4:30am EDT
imagine what a little time can do for your family. ah, ha! take that! missed me! uhh! record heat across florida. heavy rain and flooding from michigan to texas. and up to ten inches of snow in colorado, wyoming, montana. >> colorado springs the cold spot on the map, just 44 there. 56 for boise. 57 salt lake city. 46 fargo. 50 omaha. 55 chicago. boston climbs to 64 today. baltimore 70. atlanta 79. 92 in miami. a record 91 in new orleans. well, america's got talent, britain's got talent, also does japan. >> the hottest up and coming pop star is actually a robot. the cute, edgy humanoid belts out tunes with the help of new electronic voice technology by yamaha. the pop-bot is the same one that can strut the catwalk and show range of emotions. >> unlike her human counterparts this is one pop star that's likely to stay out of trouble
>> it would also reduce the federal deficit by $81 billion over 10 years. the white house says the report confirms that health care reform can happen without adding a dime to the deficit. the busy holiday travel season is about to get more expensive for people booking airline tickets. >> major airlines just expanding new surcharge policies, forcing passengers who fly on the busiest days to pay even more. >> reporter: airlines are counting on an extra holiday gift from passengers this year. for the first time, carriers are slapping a surcharge on some holiday flights. an additional $10 each way. >> when you have over 2 million people in the air on a given day, you know, $10, you know, on a particular day, makes a big difference on that day's revenue. >> reporter: a week ago airlines announced the new fee would apply to just three days around thanksgiving and new year's. it has already ballooned to 13 days. through spring break and memorial day of next year. >> another 10 bucks is quite a bit of money.
so i'm dismayed by it. >> reporter: airlines first back tacking on extra fees about a year ago when fuel prices were sky high. since then fuel costs have come down. but fees have not. on most airlines passengers now pay to check one bag, from $15 to $25. pay for extra leg room, up to $30. for a meal, as much as $10. even for a blanket and pillow, $7 on us airways and jet blue. >> it's relatively easy to get relatively small amounts of money out of passengers if you ask them to pay for things thisreally want. >> reporter: it adds up to big money. for the first six months of this year passengers paid $1.2 billion in bag fees alone. for their part, airlines say they'll still lose billions this year and ticket prices are at record lows. that's little comfort when fees send the price of flying skyward. lisa stark, abc news, washington. >> when you see the airlines
making that much money off extra baggage fees there's a pretty good indicator they're not going to go back to the old way where we didn't pay. >> of course not. it's outrageous to me what you pay to take a pet on the airplane. it's the same or even more than if you were to buy the seat next to you. >> $7 for a pillow, are you kidding he? as for these surcharges jet blue, southwest, so far they're holding out. the discounters are holding out. >> they're kind of known for holding out. we'll see if they can make it. it's a national trend to cash in on insurance companies and drive up your claims. >> crooks are staging elaborate car accidents and even doctors are involved in the scheme. elizabeth levy reports. >> reporter: watch carefully. this looks like a regular car accident. but it's actually an elaborate crime with multiple players. look at the right side of your screen. that white suv is the lead car. the driver's on the lookout for women driving aloan who are turning left into a los angeles shopping center.
once he spots one he flashes his brake lights, a signal for his partner. then he waves for the woman to turn in front of him. but wait, now he pulls up and blocks her way. she has nowhere to go. his partner in the oncoming traffic lane races up and smashes into her vehicle. and the lead car simply drives away. >> she was totally set up. who's at fault? if the police are called on this? the left turner. >> reporter: ike watkins is a special agent with the national insurance crime bureau. he says the criminals have extensive networks including doctors who create bogus medical claims. >> they only go two, maybe three times at the most. they'll sign they've been there 30, 35 times. >> reporter: lawyers who represent the criminals posing as injured passengers. by inflating the damage to their cars and their bodies, the crooks cash in on insurance policies. >> there's been a big upswing in insurance fraud. a lot of people are out of work, they need the money, they'll get involved in these accidents.
>> reporter: think this was just some random crime? surveillance cameras catch the same white suv at the same location another day. same game plan. same result. insurance companies lose money on these scams but the victims can lose their lives. the women in the two los angeles accidents we showed you recovered. but in 2003 alice ross, a 71-year-old grandmother, was killed in a staged accident. when ward demolaire rammed his car into hers she lost control and slammed into a tree. he was convicted of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. >> they'd like to find a nice car usually with a lone female driver. newer car because they're pretty sure it will have insurance on it. >> reporter: these demonstrations, courtesy of the united services automobile association, show the other types of staged accidents you
should be aware of. in the panic stop, a criminal looks for a distracted driver, positions himself in front of them, and then slams on the brakes and claims painful back and neck injuries. in the swoop and squat, a crook drives erratically and pulls in front of an accomplice who then hits his brakes. finally, the drive down. when a driver pretends to be courteous, waves you around his car, then crashes into you. what's so menacing is that in all of these staged accidents, the crooks make it look like you are the one at fault. some tips. it's a good idea to keep a disposable camera in your car, or use your cell phone to take pictures of the other car, the damage, the accident scene, and the other passengers. that's something you might not normally think to do. but would be very helpful in case you have been in a staged accident. in washington, l rk, abc news.
>> take down the names and any information on passengers even if it might be fake. any information is better than none when they're investigating these. there's a woman in virginia who was recently ordered to pay back $50,000 for staging these accidents. she's going to spend seven years in prison. she was using her young kids and nieces and nephews to pile in the car, theet get out and act injured. >> these are such elaborate schemes too. you'd like to think that's something i would never do, it's something my friends would never do. but more people are willing to do it than you might think. there was a survey in britain. pollsters in london say 1 million people surveyed in britain would consider taking part in such a scheme to file a claim because they're broke because of the recession. people are looking for a quick buck, a quick paycheck, and they're willing to go to great lengths to do it. >> single women drivers and people who drive nice cars, new
cars, are targets. also the elderly are targets. the insurance institute says elderly drivers need to watch out for these schemes. >> anybody who's distracted, following too closely, really anyone. you really have to be conscious out there. it's going to change the way i drive next time i get behind the wheel. >> me, too. >> look out for this sort of thing. >> no doubt. [vibrates] g morning, sunshine. wakey, wakey. text me. [chattering] are your parents home later?
we can hang. l.u.v.--love you. jk. holla back. holla back. holla back. are you with your friends? that's lame. we're in a huge fight right now. x.o. what'd you dream about? me? [overlapping] is it something i did? are you on your way to the mall? i'm lonely. nude pics. send me some. [beep] text me. michelle obama's path to the white house has turned into an even more remarkable story after a discovery by the "new york times." >> a newspaper reporter and a genealogist traced the first lady's roots all the way back to the days of slavery. david muir reports. >> reporter: the findings reveal a five-generation journey from slavery to first lady. unearthed by the "new york times" and genealogist megan smolniak it unfolds from this
will of a slave owner. the first known record of mrs. obama's maternal great great great grandmother. a 6-year-old slave girl named melvinia. her master decides it will be his descendents who inherit the use and service of melvinia. >> she was treated like a piece of property in a will. when she was 8 years old, sense across the south. >> reporter: she was moved to a new farm in georgia and it was there the "times" reports she met the white man who would father her first child. the child was named dolphus shields. michelle obama's great great grandfather. he would move to birmingham where he would become a carpenter. by 1900 he owned this house. by 1911 he had his own business. his family, now part of the middle class. >> you got the sense from these documents of him pulling himself up step by step into economic stability, which is all the more amazing considering that he was born a slave. >> reporter: and one of his sons, robert lee shields,
married a seamstress named annie. they had a son, purnell, who would move to chicago. he and his wife had several children, including a daughter, named marian. it was marian who would marry frasier robinson. their second child was named michelle. a story impossible to imagine for that little slave girl named melvinia. david muir, abc news, new york. >> interestingly the first lady and all her relatives declined to comment to the new york times about anything they discovered. >> apparently they did an article that scratched the surface on this and then a researcher got in touch and went deeper. they interviewed dozens of people with knowledge of her ancestors and uncovered these fascinating facts, tidbits about her past. morning papers ran. an accused burglar who made himself at home. (announcer) still tired of morning coming in the middle of the night?
and unlike other sleep aids, a second helps you stay asleep. when taking ambien cr, don't drive or operate machinery. sleepwalking, and eating or driving while not fully awake with memory loss for the event as well as abnormal behaviors such as being more outgoing or aggressive than normal, confusion, agitation, and hallucinations may occur. don't take it with alcohol as it may increase these behaviors. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath, swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and in rare cases may be fatal. side effects may include next-day drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. in patients with depression, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide may occur. if you experience any of these behaviors or reactions contact your doctor immediately. wake up ready for your day- ask your healthcare provider for 2-layer ambien cr. "world news now" delivers your morning papers.
>> very important items in the "morning papers" this morning. >> as always, right? >> of course. i've got a naked burglar in new orleans. this guy is fabulous because he arrives at this house, there he is. >> oh, wow. >> i love the sound effects. he decides to strut around the outside of the house naked. showers himself with a hose in the driveway. then he puts a garbage bag around himself and hangs out on the back lawn furniture. isn't that a good shot? >> what? >> then enters the house through the rear windows, ransacks the place, cooks a meal, eats it, has several drinks, took a shower again, wraps himself in a white sheet and left. the police estimation of all of this? it appears the man is either drunk or under the influence of drugs. >> no! >> really. >> no way. i'm curious, was he naked when he cooked the meal too? >> i think so. i think this was a naked extravaganza. >> that could lead to injury. but he took a shower. >> twice.
once with the hose in the driveway, then again inside. >> made a clean getaway. >> scrub that shower. >> here's a couple of -- lisa's just now getting used to those sound effects. we hear it often on this show. a couple of guys in south wales across the pond. they get liquid courage in them and head out for a night on the town. they decide to pick a fight with a couple of cross-dressers. they walk up, the guy without the shirt on, starts to pick a fight with the woman. clearly a transvestite. that's probably the reason. little does he know those two transvestites are ultimate fighters. they're cage fighters. and they gave those guys a real whooping. >> that's great. >> so the guys took off. the cage fighters were seen teetering away in their high heels. stopped to pick up their clutch and took off after the melee. how about that. careful who you pick a fight with, you never know. >> okay. willis.
>> willis liked that one. >> served them right. >> yes, it did. >> henry the paralyzed dog. he's not paralyzed anymore which makes this story really remarkable. henry is going to give hope to thousands of millions of people, actually, who are paralyzed. they did this new procedure on him where they took cells from his nose that are able to regenerate nerve fibers, injected them into his spine. and he's walking again. >> his nose is always wet. most dogs' are. >> his nose is okay. the point is heeg walking again. >> i guess i missed the point. those dachshunds have a lot of bone and back trou
then, living large. enormous mansions that are now the biggest bargains in real estate. and unusual vintage. why critics are raving about fine wine that's not from california or europe. >> i've poured it at dinner parties, everybody thinks it's french. parties, everybody thinks it's french. >> it's thursday, october 8th. captions paid for by abc, inc. >> that was a fun story to shoot because we got to drink wine a lot. >> i'm jealous. >> we didn't get to go to france which would have been even better. we'll tell you where we went coming up this half hour so stick around. good morning. we begin with a developing story out of japan where a powerful typhoon is roaring across the country, causing extensive damage. winds of more than 120 miles an hour brought down a crane in a city south of tokyo. as well as several lamp posts. homes all over the tokyo region have been severely damaged. >> at least two deaths and
dozens of injuries have been reported. the storm forced cancelations of train service across japan. it was so bad both toyota and suzuki motors decided to halt production for the day. >> it's been an active morning of earthquakes in the pacific region. a 7.8 quake struck northwest of the south pacific island of vanuatu. it triggered a tsunami warning which was later canceled, no reports of damage. also a 6.7 quake shook the region south of the philippines. again, no damage. back here at home, the attorney general and the education secretary were in chicago yesterday to address the growing threat of school violence. 34 students were killed there last year. nearly 300 wounded. one recent death, an honor student whose beating was caught on camera, prompted washington's attention to the problem. here's chris bury. >> reporter: as this city's children made their often treacherous trips to school, the president's men arrived to confront the crushing wave of
kids killing kids. >> we simply cannot stand for an epidemic of violence that robs our youth of their childhood. >> this is a line in the sand and we have to get dramatically better. >> reporter: what prompted their visit, that infamous after-school brawl captured on a cell phone. 16-year-old darrion albert, an honors student, beaten with boards and stomped to death. >> heartbreaking that it takes capturing a death on video to wake the country. >> reporter: that murder is only the tip of the iceberg. in each of the last two years, chicago has lost the equivalent of an entire classroom to violence. many more, including this 5-year-old boy, maimed for life. what kind of injuries do you see here today? >> the injuries that we see are gunshot wounds -- >> reporter: mt. sinai hospital treats 200 children a year who have been shot, stabbed, beaten. why? gangs, guns, turf battles, kids surrounded by violence. >> the kids in our community, it's not even a question of of what they're seeing it on tv because they're seeing it in
their front yard, they're seeing out the way to school, they're seeing it in their living room. >> reporter: in an unprecedented study school officials examined 500 shootings. they plan to shower attention on the most likely instigators and victims. black males. skipping big chunks of school who get in trouble far more often than fellow students. >> the violence to other students is not random and it's highly predictable. >> reporter: the safest place, in school. the danger, in the neighborhoods. every day 14-year-old amina hock and thousands of other students run a gauntlet. she rides a city bus three miles past a rival school and bank territory to her own high school. >> i pray every day she gets home safely. >> reporter: the attorney general promised a call to action and more federal money to help keep kids safe. in the next breath he cautioned, there will be no quick fixes. chris bury, abc news, chicago. every member of congress is getting a new report about illegal gun sales courtesy of
new york city mayor michael bloomberg. the report goes along with undercover video of illegal sales at gun shows in three states over the summer. the operation was meant to highlight the so-called gun show loophole which allows some dealers to sell gun without background checks. a key version of the health care reform bill is a step closer to debate in the full senate. the dwregsal congressional budget office says the measure will cost $829 billion and cover 94% of americans. it would reduce the federal deficit by $81 billion over 10 years. 1 the budget analysis helps clear the way for a committee vote wind the next few days. a major health concern for women was spotlighted on the floor of the house yesterday. sponsors of several bills focused on the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and urged support for the legislation. the debate took a personal turn as lawmakers told their personal or family struggles with the disease. >> recently, i learned i had
more personal risk than i was aware of. almost two years ago, as most of you know now, only six weeks after a clean mammogram, i found a lump in my breast while doing a routine self-exam. my doctor diagnosed me with breast cancer when i was only 41. >> we all know people near and dear to us who have battled breast cancer, my wife among them for the last three years. we know the statistics. breast cancer is the second leading cause of death of women in the united states. the leading cause of death of women aged 40 to 49. >> overall, breast cancer survival rates in the last two decades have improved, with one exception. minority women. women of color suffer from significantly higher death rates after diagnoses than white women. >> adequate recovery time in the hospital should not be negotiable. the last thing that any woman should be doing at this time is fighting with her insurance company. >> breast cancer attacks oldies, grandmas like me. but it also attacks beautiful young women like debbie washerman-schultz and hopefully
not my daughters who are a bit younger than she is. and hopefully not my granddaughter, who's a lot younger than she is. so this is something we all have experience with. >> each year 210,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. about 40,000 women die every year from the disease. >> she said we all have experience with this and she's right. so many of us have survival stories or relatives who have had it or maybe not survived. it affects nearly everyone. or maybe not survived. >> tough to find somebody who hasn't been touched by it. thursday weather. stormy michigan to texas with heavy rain and flooding in dallas, kansas city, st. louis, indianapolis, detroit. plunging temperatures up to 10 inches of snow in colorado, wyoming, montana. and another hot day along the gulf coast. >> it is really hot, a record 91 in new orleans, 92 in miami. 70s from atlanta to new york. a chilly 46 in fargo. 50 in minneapolis. 55 in chicago. upper 50s in boise, salt lake city, and 78 in sacramento. >> winter is upon us. isn't it?
starting to look like it. another prominent figure is gracing the halls of u.s. capitol. >> it as is a statue of a 7-year-old helen keller, depicting the moment she solved the mystery of language. the bronze, unveiled yesterday, shows keller learning the word "water" despite being deaf and blind. keller once said the moment she associated water with the word being spelled in her hand it awakened her soul to her potential. >> this is the first statue honoring a disabled person at the capitol. >> since 1864, states have been allowed to put two statues of their choice in the capitol. in 2002 congress changed that and said, we'll let you change out the statues. >> very cool, yeah. >> that's why they changed this out. it's 600 pounds. >> maybe we'll see more prominent statues on display. >> you know what was cool about this today, 40 of her descendents were at the capitol for the ceremony.
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welcome back to "world news now." it's thursday morning. there is a big fight over a small cross set up in the california desert to remember war veterans. >> the legal battle over religion is now before the supreme court. because that cross is part of a national memorial. dan harris reports from the mojave national preserve. >> reporter: you have to drive way out into the mojave desert to find it. a simple seven-foot cross that is at the center of a decade-long court fight. this site was chosen as a memorial in 1934 by veterans from world war i who wanted to honor the dead. for the past 20 years, henry and wanda sandoz have maintained the cross, which these days is covered by a wooden box. what do you think of this box on it? >> this to me is a slap in the face to all veterans. seeing that box on there.
>> they thought, with the box on it, it's not a cross. >> reporter: the reason for the box, a lawsuit arguing that having a cross here on federal land violates the separation of church and state. supporters of the cross say the men who put it up were not particularly religious, but saw the cross instead as the universal symbol of sacrifice. frank woneaux, a practicing catholic who used to work in the national preserve, filed the suit. >> for people to argue it is a universal symbol of death and sacrifice is alice in wonderland. it is a symbol of death and sacrifice only to the extent that it symbolizes the death and sacrifice of jesus christ. this is as religious as it gets. >> reporter: the courts agreed with him. but then congress voted to transfer the one acre on which the cross sits into private hands so it could stay up. a move opponents want the supreme court to reject. >> my grandfather was a world
war i veteran. he is not and can't be commemorated and honored through a religious symbol that says, jesus is the son of god, and he died on the cross to redeem mankind for his sins. >> what do you think about the notion of it being torn down? >> can you imagine what i think about it? it would be terrible. i just -- >> it would break our hearts. >> yeah, i can't imagine it. >> reporter: whatever the supreme court decides the fate of this desert cross could have implications for public expressions of faith nationwide. dan harris, abc news, in the mojave national preserve. >> as a possible solution congress is considering just moving the cross. we'll have to see what happens with the supreme court first. >> there's precedent too. apparently some buddhists wanted to put a shrine on federal property some years back, and that was denied. and so we have seen some precedent. but you have to wonder, without this lawsuit, this is in the middle of the desert. >> it's in the middle of nowhere. >> without the lawsuit, who
would have even really known about it? certainly wouldn't have taken on the notoriety it has now. when we return, the big discounts on extra-large mansions. >> the abundance of lavish properties on the market and >> the abundance of lavish properties on the market and what agents are doing to get >> the abundance of lavish properties o[vibrates]et and what agents g morning, sunshine. wakey, wakey. text me back. [chattering] [vibrates] hey. did you tell your parents about us? let's skip first period together. did you get all my texts? is practice over yet? where you at? are you with your friends? that's laaaa-mee. capital "x," lower-case "o," capital "x," lower-case "o," i love you. jk. i hate you. jk. are you ignoring me? we're in a huge fight right now. is it something i did? i can see your lights on. i'm coming over. this isn't a joke. what did you dream about? [overlapping] is it me? i'm lonely. holla back.
let's talk about mcmansions. elaborate homes, some with basement casinos, gigantic swimming pools, ten-car garages. believe it or not, they're flooding the real estate market. >> luxury lifestyles for sale at deep discounts. agents have unique ways to push these posh properties. here's mike von fremd. >> reporter: in a nearly lifeless real estate market, the good life, complete with a dream home, has become a nightmare for owners of luxury homes looking to make a sale. >> welcome to the creme de la creme. >> reporter: the sprawling ranch home was built in the exclusive neighborhood where "the real housewives of orange county" is set. every room is a show piece? >> is a show piece.
would you like to see it? >> reporter: luxury real estate agent leann kennedy specializes in these homes. her pitch has evolved from selling exclusivity to opportunity. >> if you really want a big home it's the time to buy them. you want to buy when other people aren't. >> reporter: which is about the nicest way to say, these super extravagant homes are now a tough sell. and leann is certainly selling. >> you're not going to believe this, mike. this is the master bedroom. >> reporter: at 3,200 square feet, just the bedroom in this home is big enough to fit two other entire homes. eight bedrooms in all. but there's also a casino in the basement for the high roller who prefers to stay at home. and a 4,000 square foot, ten-car garage so your gambling buddies don't have to park outside. >> you could run a business out of this home. >> you could run a state out of this home. >> it is pretty large, yes, it is. >> but is bigger always better? >> it's more valuable. >> reporter: more valuable if
there is a buyer. and that is simply not the case right now for most of these super luxury homes. dozens of new multi million dollar estates are sitting vacant across southern california. waiting for a qualified buyer to make them home. >> what's happening with this is probably what's happening with most of the larger homes. the demand has gone a little bit down. but it's a fabulous opportunity. >> reporter: leann is still selling. >> this is onyx. this is about the most expensive stone you can get. you actually have three sinks. >> this is really fit for a king. >> it is. >> but no kings show up. >> there's still an opportunity here. >> reporter: the 16,500 square foot home was built to sell for over $10 million. at auction last weekend, the high bid was only $6.6 million. >> i never expected this. >> reporter: the near $4 million loss is too much for builder larry igarashi to swallow. he's looking for another buyer
but still expects to lose millions on this development. >> i feel bad. this is my baby. but i have to move on. >> is this the worst you've ever seen it? >> yes. in california. there's always ups and downs in the real estate market. sometimes you're down, sometimes you're up. >> reporter: he's not the only homeowner losing big on his opulent property. this 9,000 square foot estate in exclusive san juan capistrano boasts a luxury man cave, wine cellar, and enough land to add tennis courts and bring your horses. >> i can push one button, all the lights come on, the music comes on, the fountain comes on. >> reporter: originally offered at $9,800,000, the seller is asking $6,500,000. this five-acre mansion features a jaw-dropping family room that opens to a magnificent pool and patio. there's also a stable where the horses seem to know they have it good. >> would you like an apple? okay, how about a carrot?
>> reporter: the seller originally hoped to break even with a $7 million sale. it is now in escrow at a $1 million loss. a breathtaking chunk of the california coast is available in this 8,000 square foot oceanfront san clemente home. >> this is as good as it gets. >> reporter: the original asking price, nearly $8 million. now down to $6.5 million. when houses in this elite category do sell now, it is often at auction where the buyers, not the sellers, set the price. >> this is a busy time, yes. >> reporter: ed comisky's auction house is fielding bids on luxury homes that were never intended to be sold at auction. >> certain houses can be half price. we've also seen homes that have sold for, you know, 10% and 20% off. it depends on a given property. >> reporter: he says the lesson for the super rich in this economy is the same as for everyone else -- >> buy what you can afford. >> reporter: kennedy remains a believer. is this ever going to bounce back?
>> it always does. i've been in this 30 years, okay? i've seen many ups and downs in real estate. and in real estate, it does the up and down, but it always does it in the upward direction. so it will come back, yes. and somebody is going to be sitting on a $10.5 million home soon. >> reporter: dreams of better days in a dream house. mike von fremd in california. >> peter grimm was eyeballing that wine cellar, he wants one bad. >> he wants the man cave. >> i do too. this flies in the face of new yorkers who have a closet for a home, you know? >> yeah. >> this is not right. not right at all. i'd want my own casino. then if you lose you get to keep the money anyway. >> because you're the house. >> exactly, sign me up. a good diet and testing your blood sugar regularly
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♪ when you reach for a bottle of wine you might check the label for a vintage from france or california. >> but as i discovered wines with surprising quality are coming from vineyards in a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country -- michigan. >> reporter: cornell oliver knows a good glass of wine. it's a passion he first picked up from his grandfather, growing up around south africa's most beautiful vineyards. a decade ago he brought his love for winemaking to a very unlikely place. northern michigan. in the dead of winter. >> how could they possibly make wine here? >> reporter: but oliver soon uncorked a secret well-known in these parts by locals like chris who also grew up on vineyards. michigan vineyards. around the state's early winemakers and the tasters brave
enough to try their new brews. >> they were shocked. you made this back here? seeing how thankful and excited they were, that's what made me go, i want to do that. >> reporter: the two are business partners in michigan's $300 million wine industry. it is growing fast. 15 years ago there were 17 wineries across the state of michigan. now there are nearly 70. altogether they produce about 1 million gallons of wine every year. >> exactly who thought michigan, right? >> reporter: the "chicago tribune's" bill daley reviews wine from all over the world. but these days, he has a special taste for michigan. >> i pour it at a dinner party. everybody thinks it's french. i love coming out at the end going, hey, guess what, here's the bottle, michigan. they're stunned. >> reporter: he says it's all about location. michigan's best wineries are near the 45th parallel. the imaginary line marking the halfway point between the north pole and the equator. just like their counterparts in france, italy, and oregon, michigan's winemakers say the
climate here is ideal for great wine. >> they see their wines as being someday as good as all the wines in all those other regions. and they're going to do it. >> reporter: that day may not be far away. last year michigan winemakers received more than 800 medals at national and international wine competitions. despite the recession the wine industry says americans are buying more than ever before. >> people are always going to drink and eat. it's a good industry to be in. >> reporter: and like the wine itself, that industry in michigan keeps getting better with time. >> talking about pete's penchant for wine i actually got him a bottle of wine from that winery. but it never made it back, unfortunately.
japan's main island. a damage report from the area this morning. then, caught in the crossfire. schoolchildren dying on the streets of chicago. how the nation's top cop plans to stop the violence. star gazers. president obama's science lesson on astronomy. >> we've got a bunch of telescopes out on the lawn. let's get started together. telescopes out on the lawn. let's get started together. >> it's thursday, october 8th. captions paid for by abc, inc. >> bunch of kids getting spaced out at the white house. just hours ago. in a good way, in a good way. we'll talk about it in a few minutes. >> good morning. i'm lisa fletcher. >> i'm vinita -- >> are you vinita? >> i'm not vinita, she's gone getting married. what am i saying? i'm jeremy hubbard. >> who's spaced out this morning? we are following a developing story from asia. a powerful storm has slammed into japan causing widespread destruction. >> at least two people have died
and dozens of others were injured. as typhoon malor hit the country's main island. with the latest details, margaret connelly is joining us this morning from tokyo. good morning, margaret. >> good morning, jeremy and lisa. typhoon 18 as it's called here is sweeping through japan. this morning on the main island, rain has turned roads into rivers. the walls of wind have toppled trees and power lines, some factories like toyota motors halted production. neighborhood roads collapsed. cars were submerged in water. roofs were ripped off houses and thousands of people were evacuated from their homes. at least two people have been reported dead, according to police. one man delivering newspapers early this morning died when his motorbike hit a fallen tree. several other people have reported injuries from the storm that has also severely disrupted flights and trains. rail commuters in densely populated tokyo were stranded -- >> all right, we're have
something problems with margaret's report from there. but again, the death toll too in japan after that storm, you have to wonder in the death toll will rise more on that story throughout the day here on abc. the south pacific nation of samoa is holding a memorial service and mass funeral for victims of last week's tsunami. mass grave sites are being prepared even as individual funerals take place. the tsunami killed at least 178 people, mostly in samoa. as president obama considers u.s. war strategy in afghanistan more violence is marring that country's capital. a large blast rattled downtown kabul this morning. initial reports said it was a suicide bombing at the indian embassy. at least seven afghan civilians were killed and 45 wounded. in washington, requests by the top u.s. commander in afghanistan has arrived at the white house. >> good morning, jeremy and lisa. the president has received general mcchrystal's request for up to 40,000 more troops. it's one of the factors mr.
obama is considering as he decides on the course of the war in afghanistan. how the president decides to fight a war half a world away has a deep impact here at home. nearly 800 u.s. troops have been killed in afghanistan since the war started eight years ago. among them, sergeant joshua hart from the small town of applegate, california. while this community mourns sergeant hart's death the president is meeting with his top advisers. wednesday, he discussed pakistan where extremists staged their attacks into afghanistan. the nearly defeated insurgency has come back with a vengeance. general stanley mcchrystal, who has support of key republicans in congress, believes the only way to win is with more troops. >> there is some time urgency. this is not an academic discussion. >> reporter: vice president biden is advocating a plan for more missile strikes and the deployment of special operations forces, a strategy that requires fewer troops. >> lives are at stake, both on the time side of this but also
on the right strategy side of this. >> reporter: different groups, including the united nations, have tried to estimate how many afghans have died in the war. the death toll ranges from 11,000 to 30,000. the president's plan to close the prison camp at guantanamo bay has cleared a major hurdle in congress. lawmakers have unveiled a compromise which would continue to allow detainees to be brought to the u.s. for trial. under the plan, the prisoners could not serve time in american prisons or be released into the u.s. mr. obama has ordered guantanamo to be closed by early next year. this may not surprise you. right now there is a record amount of government red ink. the federal budget deficit tripled to $1.4 trillion for the fiscal year that ended last week. analysts blame several factors, a big drop in tax revenue because of the recession, and the $245 billion spent to bail out wall street. detroit's economic despair was on full view at an event meant to help the city's struggling population. in what quickly became clear was that there were too many people
seeking too little help. barbara pinto reports from detroit. >> reporter: the crowd of desperate detroiters gathered well before daylight, jamming the massive convention center, spilling out into the neighborhood. they had all come for just a chance at government help. >> i came down here with so many people i was like, oh my god. >> reporter: the city got enough federal money to help 3,500 families pay rent and utilities. police say 35,000 showed up instead. >> this is a travesty. i've never seen anything like this in my life. >> reporter: and then tempers started to flare. >> ridiculous. people falling out, fighting, this is crazy. >> reporter: at least five were hurt in scuffles. some fainted. more than 100 police officers tried to calm an anxious crowd faced with too much desperation and too few resources. >> what we need everybody to do is to calm down, get in line. everyone will receive an app. >> reporter: city leaders downplayed what happened. >> i think that with every other major urban city, detroit has
particular needs for the homeless and for the underemployed. >> reporter: but detroit's troubles are tremendous. nearly one of every three residents here is out of work. in the crowd, rebecca minkitz is supporting disabled parents and lost her job. >> there's a lot going on in my household. i'm here to find relief. >> reporter: she is one of tens of thousands who left with an application but no promise of help. barbara pinto, abc news, detroit. >> desperate times for that city. here is a look at your thursday forecast. heavy rain and flooding in the midwest and southern plains as well. drenching seven states from michigan to texas. snow from denver to cheyenne today and parts of montana as well. record highs in the 90s from florida to new orleans. >> cooler to the north with 79 in atlanta. 71 in new york. 64 in boston. 60s in detroit, indianapolis and st. louis. 85 in dallas. out west, 61 in seattle. 68 in portland. 82 in phoenix.
here's a little trivia question for you. what's big enough to hold the entire planet earth a billion times over? >> i don't know. >> yeah, you do. >> the answer is a discovered ring around saturn and it's gigantic. i'm just being honest. scientists say the super-sized ring is 7.5 million miles wide but it's so faint it could only be seen with an infrared telescope. >> how about that. the ring is made of tiny ice and dust particles and it's orbited by saturn's moon phoebe. the temperature, minus 316 degrees. i'm curious to see what song our guru of music in the control room, david banfield, is going to pick for this. i would have picked "put a ring on it" by beyonce. >> i want to know who gets to name the moons of saturn. i'd like to name one. >> what would it be? >> i don't know. better than phoebe. >> this is stevie wonder. we'll get beyonce on there next. >> we'll be right back. ♪ people live to be 205
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members of the obama administration were in chicago yesterday to address school violence that is so bad, students are afraid to go to class. >> community leaders met with the attorney general and education secretary. as we see in our "american landscape" coverage from abc 7 in chicago. >> this is abc 7 news at 6:00. >> i challenge every parent, community leader, and adult to step up and join in this conversation. no one, no one should get a pass today. >> a call for action today to help stop the violence that's taken the lives of so many students here in chicago and across the country. two members of president obama's cabinet were sent here today following the beating death of 16-year-old derrion albert. good evening.
u.s. attorney general eric holder and education secretary arne duncan are meeting with mayor daley and other community leaders. >> the mother of derrion albert is speaking out today. abc 7's ben bradley joining us with more. >> it's a start. those are the words from a mother who wishes the spotlight would have never fallen on her family but she says parents, not politicians, have it in their power to pull the plug on youth violence. >> we're going to lose more of our children. they got to stop this. they need to calm down, please. >> reporter: she is the mother whose son's videotaped murder is grabbing global attention. >> parents have got to step forward. they got to stop. they all know. they're feeding fuel to this fire and it's not doing anybody any good. >> reporter: her sentiment, the same as those echoed by the president's team as they made chicago the first stop on what they promise will be a national
conversation about youth violence. >> for me, and for this administration, it was a call to action. to address a challenge that affects this entire nation. youth violence is not a chicago problem, any more than it is a black problem, a white problem. >> i think this is actually heartbreaking that it takes capturing a death on video to wake the country. >> reporter: the u.s. education secretary and attorney general met with a dozen students from fenger high. tensions are nothing new at this school. some blame part of the problem on the mayor's program which shuttered failing schools send something students outside of their neighborhoods and into rival gang territories to attend class. daley's team denies that's playing a role in the uptick in student murders choosing instead to focus on the need for more after-school programs and community role models. >> it's time for action. no more research, no more data. anti-social behavior is
unacceptable in any community. >> reporter: the videotaped beating of derrion albert is not only attracting white house attention but also worldwide coverage. a team from a national news outlet in france is here, asking the same questions chicagoans are. >> we just wanted to understand what created that kind of violence. because as far as it was just really striking. >> we checked with one minister in the meeting who admits before going into that meeting he didn't think much would come out of it. afterwards, he said it was well worth it. other community activists we talked to who have been working with troubled youth for years say they can use all the help they can get. outside the agape community center is where the national conversation on youth violence began. it's been almost two weeks since derrion albert was beaten to death here. the executive director milton massey was not involved in the meeting with eric holder and arne duncan but has been involved with working with troubled youth for years. massey believes the national
attention is a step forward. >> i believe one of the right tracks they're on is connecting with organizations like us. the mentoring groups that are out here. >> reporter: at fenger high school it was just another day. many students not in the least bit fazed by the big downtown meeting, although some students did participate in a march of their own. many blame the violence on a problem they say arne duncan created as chicago public schools ceo when he transferred garden kids from carver high school to fenger. >> we demand our children be let back in our community high school. >> reporter: today, garden students demanded to be let back in their old school. for ministers and community groups the cause of youth violence runs much deeper. reverend leonardo gilbert is a pastor of a church a couple of blocks away from fenger high school. he did participate in the duncan/holder meeting. >> it may sound corny, it may sound crazy, but i do believe that this will be a day that people will look back and say, this is when real change
happened. >> reporter: gilbert welcomes more resources and money, but he and massey say it's going to take much more. they say there's no quick fix to changing values in the generational cycle of the breakdown of the family. >> we've been here 30 years. our mindset is this. one kid at a time, one family at a time. >> reporter: massey says it's important for everyone to be patient, because this kind of problem will take years. and he believes the real problem goes all the way back to the family. he says the problem here in roseland is there are not many fathers in the homes, so he says he welcomes more resources for male role models and mentors. live in roseland, abc 7 news, back to you. >> eric holder and arne duncan announced a $500,000 grant for fenger high school as an incentive for any middle schools that send their kids to that high school. >> hopefully that will help. i mean, it's sort of that age-old problem of latchkey children. kids who have nothing to do
after school and it seems like the feds, police and school administrators agree they have to have programs to occupy their time. so people don't get in trouble. >> they say the kids are safest when they're in school, walking to and from, that's when it gets dangerous. >> and we've seen evidence of that. when we come back the serious crime that may have involved anna nicole smi orman: you know, recently, a woman wrote me to say nobody cares what happens to her money. well, that's just not true.
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$550 million. fbi investigated her for a year for being part of a plot to murder her husband's son. >> really? >> yeah, and they ended up dropping the probe because they didn't have enough evidence. but they say that she had this plot to have him stabbed and shot. >> wow. >> this was e. pierce marshall, you probably remember, in all these court cases, e. pierce marshall fighting anna nicole for control of the estate. >> there was bad blood in that family, we know that much. but i had no idea that it perhaps had come to this. wow. >> so for a whole year this investigation went on, then of course she died in 2007 of a drug overdose. >> and the stories about her continue from beyond the grave. hey, k-fat is living large in more ways than one. we're talking about k-fat -- k-fed. k-overfed, whatever you want to call him. kevin federline. here's the deal. he rented out this house, and now the homeowner is accusing him of being a deadbeat tenant, skipping out on six months' rent and trashing the
place. i wish we could show you pictures of the trashed house but for legal reasons we can't. >> tell us how bad this is. >> imagine how bad this is. $110,000 in unpaid rent and damage. >> there's overfed. >> they say cigarette butts, empty beer bottles everywhere, a broken beer dispenser, spit marks on the exterior paint, that wouldn't come off. broken light covers, bent light posts, broken tiles, dead trees, drawings all over the walls, a room that was turned into a studio without permission, a broken dishwasher, smoke detectors that were taken apart, a front driveway that had oil leaks on it, the symbol of white trash. >> he's a messy guy. the symbol of white trash. >> he will be cleaning his act up in one way. he's going to be on "celebrity fit club." he won't be k-overhead for long. >> can't wait to tune in for that. >> i bet. we all thought we'd seen enough of levi johnston. probably don't remember who he is. >> how could we forget? >> he is the father of bristol palin's child.
sarah palin's former son-in-law-to-be. anyway. he's going to pose for "playgirl." i didn't know "playgirl" even still existed to be honest. >> it's only online or maybe something. >> i have no idea. the guy's 19. so he says for the next three weeks he's going to be working out six days a week. i don't know what you can accomplish in three weeks working out. >> he's apparently turned into a real sex symbol. >> really? >> i guess so. people are really hot and some are just bothey hi >> nobody knows if it's going to be full frontal nudity or if we're just going to see the back side. "we" not including me, of course. >> you're not going to run out to the news stand? >> no. >> for resech f might have to do a story about it. >> i can think of oeoplo it would certainly not be that. i wgoesy
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indian embassy. at least seven people were killed. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke is expected to address the nation's economic recovery at a keynote speech tonight in washington. investors will have an eye on major retailers today as they release their september sales figures. analysts predict a drop in retail spending from last september. finally, they said they were spacing out at the white house. this is what i meant. aspiring astronomers joining the obamas at the white house to search for stars in the sky. >> the president and first lady were shining the spotlight on science. >> reporter: good morning, jeremy and lisa. it was a star-studded affair at the white house and all that glitz and glamor didn't come from hollywood, it came from the night sky. >> it's a beautiful night and we've got a bunch of telescopes out on the lawn. let's get started together. >> reporter: 150 local middle school students got to star gaze with the president and the first lady and got to peek at the night's delights.
jupiter. the andromeda galaxy. ring nebula. the president hoped to inspire a new generation of explorers. >> now it's your turn. we need you to study, do well in school, explore everything from the infinite reaches of space to the microscopic smallness of the atom. we need you to think bigger and to dig deeper and to reach higher. >> reporter: before the sun went down the president awarded the national medal of science and the national medal of technology and innovation. >> we recognize your contributions. but we also celebrate the incredible contributions of the scientific endeavor itself. we see the promise not just for our economy but for our health and well-being. and the human capacity for creativity and ingenuity. >> reporter: a blast from the past. the white house trotted out sally ride, the first american woman in space. tell me why it's important to
educate young children about science and technology. >> it's absolutely critical. first of all, the country needs the next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers if we're going to solve all the problems that we know about on earth, and also if we're going to learn more about our place in the universe and just expand knowledge in general. >> reporter: later, sally ride participated in a live discussion over the internet using facebook and twitter to web chat about the wonders of the great beyond. jeremy and lisa? >> inspiring young people to explore the final frontier. >> that's a good thing, especially girls. >> exactly. good to see sally ride again, too, she still looks gre
we can never be too careful when giving our kids over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. i'm chandra wilson, and i'm a mother of three. children's cough and cold medicines are safe and effective, but like all medicines, they can have real risks if misused or stored incorrectly. research shows that most overdoses from otc cough and cold medicines happen when parents give the wrong dose or kids get into the medicines. here are a few simple rules all parents should follow when treating their kids with otc cough and cold medicines. always keep medicines out of the reach and sight of children. never give more than the recommended dose, and always use the enclosed measuring device. do not use these medicines to make your child sleepy, and follow new recommendations to not give otc cough and cold medicines to children under the age of 4.
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